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Loughshinny

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Overview





Loughshinny is a small cove on the east coast of Ireland, on the north coast of County Dublin situated a mile and a half north of Rush Point and a similar distance south of Shenick Island, the southernmost of the Skerries Islands. Within the cove there is an actively used small boat fishing pier that dries at low water. Mooring possibilities include anchoring in the middle of the cove, drying out alongside the pier or a short stay alongside at high water.

The cove provides good anchorage in winds from south round through west to north. A ledge of rock extending from the pier provides the cove with partial shelter to the north but vessels typically roll in northerlies. The cove is completely open to anything from the northeast round to the south-southeast. Access is straightforward as there are no off lying dangers and the cove has marks. None of these are lit so all approaches must be in daylight.
Please note

A particular issue with Loughshinny is the amount of established moorings in the cove plus an abundance of crab and lobster pots both in the harbour and in the surrounding area. This makes it challenging to anchor without fouling lines. In established heavy weather Howth Harbour would be a better option.




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Keyfacts for Loughshinny
Facilities
Top up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationBus service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometres


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierNote: fish farming activity in the vicinity of this location

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
2.4 metres (7.87 feet).

Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
July 18th 2018

Summary* Restrictions apply

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Top up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationBus service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometres


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierNote: fish farming activity in the vicinity of this location



Position and approaches
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Haven position

53° 32.730' N, 006° 4.765' W

At the southernmost end of Loughshinny pier.

What is the initial fix?

The following Loughshinny initial fix will set up a final approach:
53° 32.605' N, 006° 4.258' W
This waypoint is 600 metres east of the centre of the bay.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in eastern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Strangford Lough to Dublin Bay Route location.

  • Situated just 1.6 miles south of Shenick Island, the southernmost of the Skerries Islands, the directions provided for Skerries Bay Click to view haven provides approach details.

  • Align for the centre of the bay, between the Martello Tower and the bent perch mark off the pier.

  • Proceed into the centre of the cove where a new channel marker will be found.

  • Anchor according to draft and conditions


Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Loughshinny for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Rush Harbour - 0.8 miles S
  2. Rogerstown Inlet - 1.6 miles SSW
  3. Skerries Bay and Harbour - 1.6 miles NNW
  4. The Boat Harbour - 2.2 miles SSE
  5. Saltpan Bay - 2.2 miles SE
  6. Talbot’s Bay - 2.4 miles SSE
  7. Seal Hole Bay - 2.7 miles SE
  8. Balbriggan Harbour - 3.3 miles NW
  9. Malahide - 3.8 miles SSW
  10. Carrigeen Bay - 5.3 miles S
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Rush Harbour - 0.8 miles S
  2. Rogerstown Inlet - 1.6 miles SSW
  3. Skerries Bay and Harbour - 1.6 miles NNW
  4. The Boat Harbour - 2.2 miles SSE
  5. Saltpan Bay - 2.2 miles SE
  6. Talbot’s Bay - 2.4 miles SSE
  7. Seal Hole Bay - 2.7 miles SE
  8. Balbriggan Harbour - 3.3 miles NW
  9. Malahide - 3.8 miles SSW
  10. Carrigeen Bay - 5.3 miles S
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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Chart
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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How to get in?


Loughshinny is a small cove with a fishing pier situated on the mainland coast two and a half miles to the south of the Skerries Islands and a mile and a half to the north of Rush Point.

Convergance Point Situated just 1.6 miles south of Shenick Island, the southernmost of the Skerries Islands, the directions provided for Skerries Bay Click to view haven provides approach details.

Initial fix location From the Loughshinny initial fix align the approach so that it is midway between the bent over perch, off the harbour wall, and the southern point of the bay, situated beyond a conspicuous Martello Tower. The harbours starboard mark will be seen on that track and this takes a vessel well south of the perch that has some southern outliers.

The bent perch marks the south-eastern extremity of the rocks that extend about 200 metres to the southeast of the pierhead; these rocks provide the cove with partial protection to northerly conditions. Once aligned come in on a line to the south of the perch. Anchor off just outside the new green channel mark when the inner side of the quay begins to show.

Vessels coming alongside the pier should pass close to the green channel mark immediately to starboard. Any further south will bring the vessel into a tangle of lobster storage containers situated immediately south of the green mark.




Haven location Much of the cove is shallow but there is a small area close outside the green channel marker buoy in the middle where depths of up to 2.5 metres may be found to anchor. The difficulty here will be finding an area clear of the crab, lobster pots and moorings to anchor.
Please note

With so much fishing gear, moorings and centuries-old objects of the ancient harbour a tripping line is highly advisable.



Loughshinny pier dries out almost to its head where 0.3 metres remains at LWS. It presents a flat sandy bottom that is suitable for bilge keel vessels. Local fishermen rarely use the outer part of the quay wall, making it good for visitors. It is however uncomfortable in a southern swell and also gets challenging at high water when the rise almost reaches the level of the wall making fendering difficult.
Please note

If leaving the harbour in shallow water it is best not to head straight south from the wall. Just south of the inner side of the pier there is a shallow rocky ridge that has about a foot, or a third of a metre, less water than is available at the quay wall.



The outer extreme of the harbour wall can be used for a brief stay at high water by medium draft vessels. If coming alongside in a keelboat it is advisable to come in astern to the end of the pier which makes it easier to set off.


Why visit here?
Loughshinny, in Irish Loch Sionnaigh, is a small village that is steeped in historical and geological interest.

The area has remarkable folded sedimentary rock formations from the carboniferous age. A visit to the shore at low water presents a cliff made up of contorted layered beds of dark limestone, with thin black shale layers between them. The beds are crumpled and bent at every angle and this could only have happened by gradual action of a great force, when the beds, already consolidated, were deep down in the earth; the superincumbent pressure of the beds above them prevented the layers from breaking open.

Early human habitation is well evident in the large (200,000 m²) Iron Age promontory fort that is located on the Drumanagh headland. It is surrounded on three sides by cliffs and a large rampart encloses the fourth side. The site has not been excavated, but it is thought that it dates back to the Bronze or Iron age. Mythology has it that the fort belonged to the trader Forgall Monach, or Manach and known as ‘the dexterous or wily’.


He was a character in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology and father to Emer who became the wife of the great Ulster and national hero Cú Chulainn. Although a complete meeting of hearts by the young couple, the marriage was very much against the will of Forgall who opposed the match at every turn and resorted to deception to thwart it. Pretending to be the king of the Gauls, he visited Ulster to encourage Cú Chulainn to go to Alba, Scotland as it was then known, to train in arms under the legendary warrior-woman Scáthach. He believed Scáthach would certainly kill Cú Chulainn and immediately set about offering Emer to the king of Munster Lugaid mac Nóis. But Lugaid refused her hand when he discovered Emer loved Cú Chulainn. Meanwhile Cú Chulainn conquers Scáthach and returns triumphant from Scotland for Emer. When Forgall refused to let him marry Emer, ostensibly because her elder sisters were still unwed, it was too much for Cú Chulainn. He stormed Forgall's fortress, killed twenty-four of Forgall's men, abducts Emer and steals Forgall's treasure. In the midst of this Forgall falls from the ramparts to his death.

The next record of the area is believed to be in the 140 AD Geographia of Claudius Ptolemaeus, Ptolemy, the Greek astronomer and cartographer. Due to its proximity to Drumanagh, many people now believe that Loughshinny is the ancient Irish settlement called Eblana which he recorded. It was traditionally believed by scholars to refer to the site of the modern city of Dublin. This would deprive Dublin of a claim to nearly two thousand years of antiquity, as the settlement he noted, most likely a trading outpost here, must have existed a considerable time before Ptolemy became aware of it.

Again speculatively and from the same period archaeologists suggested Loughshinny was a bridgehead for Roman military campaigns, possibly even for a Roman invasion. This is evidenced by first-century Samian pottery, a symbol of wealth and status in Roman times, along with other important Roman artefacts found on the Drumanagh promontory. More first-to second-century A.D. objects were recovered from Lambay Island, immediately offshore. The Lambay Island discoveries were found in burial sites and included a number of metal brooches or fibula, a beaded necklace known then as a torc, bronze discs, and many other objects. The Loughshinny fort could then have been used by Gnaeus Julius Agricola, then Roman governor of Britain, for an invasion of Ireland in AD 82.

The Roman historian Tacitus mentions that Agricola entertained an exiled Irish prince, thinking to use him as a pretext for a possible conquest of Ireland. Agricola, says Tacitus, "crossed in the first ship" and defeated peoples unknown to the Romans until then. He does not specify which body of water he crossed, although many scholars believe it was the Clyde or Forth; but the rest of the chapter exclusively concerns Ireland. Agricola fortified the coast facing Ireland, and Tacitus recalls that his father-in-law often claimed the island could be conquered with a single legion and auxiliaries. This conquest never happened, but some historians believe that the crossing referred to was in fact a military expedition to Ireland.

This claim of a significant Roman beachhead, built to support military campaigns in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD is however broadly disputed. The artefacts were unfortunately illegally excavated after being discovered with metal detectors, so they have not been available for further study. Legal disputes with the land owner have meant that further excavations have not been carried out to be able to settle the debate. Certainly, at the very least, a commercial connection existed here with a trading colony, or a native Irish settlement, and the Brigantes tribe across the Irish Sea in Britain. It was probably populated with a mixture of Irish, Romano-British, Gallo-Roman, and others, doubtless including a few genuine Romans as well. Brigantes refuges may also have come here after their crushing defeat by the Romans in A.D. 74.


Later military pragmatism on the Drumanagh headland was to provide Loughshinny with its more famous landmark; it’s Martello Tower. The Martello Tower was erected in 1803. It was one of a series built on headlands and islands each side of Dublin as defence against Napoleon to protect the city but was never brought into use. The Martello Tower remains very well preserved to this day.


In 1913 a curious event occurred here. In that year the Daily Mail sponsored a great air race around the British Isles. This was remarkable as it was just a decade after the Wright Brothers had achieved the first successful heavier-than-air powered aircraft flight in 1903. A contestant, Harry George Hawker MBE, AFC, the famous aviation pioneer from Australia, having completed three quarters of the journey suffered a leaking fuel pipe in his seaplane. He crashed into the middle of Loughshinny Bay and both he and his co-pilot were rescued by local fishermen. The next day they returned to retrieve the aircraft and found most of it stripped for souvenirs by the locals from the area. He went on to be the chief test pilot for Sopwith and was also involved in the design of many of their aircraft. After World War One he co-founded Hawker Aircraft, the firm that would later be responsible for a long series of successful military aircraft including the famous Hawker Hurricane fighter plane that, along with the Supermarine Spitfire, was instrumental in winning the Battle of Britain.


Today Loughshinny is an attractive fishing village with a population of eight hundred in the immediate area. The little bay with its picturesque working harbour and safe sandy beach is a popular picnic location in summer. Fishing for crabs and lobsters still forms a big part of the local economy whilst the fertile farmland surrounding the village still supplies vegetables and flowers for the Dublin market. The village retains a uniqueness of its own. Except for some new housing and a new school, the appearance of the village has not changed substantially over the years. Retaining that old world charm within a stone’s throw of Dublin city is remarkable. An interesting walk that encompasses the whole area of Loughshinny is easily accessed ashore. It takes in its interesting geological layered limestone and shale cliff features on the south side of the bay, and the buildings of historical interest on the cliffs on the headland of Drumanage.

From a cruising perspective Loughshinny appears the type of place to drop into on high water just for a pint of milk and a paper, but the area has more to offer the visiting boatman than that. It is a very useful harbour along this coast where a cruiser may reliably find shelter in winds from north to northwest, particularly so at low water which closes off many other options along this coast. Those that venture ashore will find a wonderfully quaint village with unique features that warrant an enjoyable coastal walk and exploration. It is also very well suited to young families for seaside fun as the beach is easy to supervise.


What facilities are available?
Loughshinny is a very quiet small little place. Apart from the landing area there is a small shop, pub and reportedly you can get water from a house.

Loughshinny has good transport links however. It is serviced by Dublin Bus Route 33, which runs between Dublin city centre (Eden Quay) and Balbriggan, and Route 33A which runs between Swords and Balbriggan. There is a also a special commuters bus, the 33X Expresso, which runs between Skerries and Belfield Campus - this bus being targeted at students. A late night service, the 33N, is also available.

A train service is available from nearby Skerries train station. The train runs between Dublin city centre and Drogheda/Dundalk.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred at Loughshinny.


With thanks to:
Charlie Kavanagh - ISA/RYA Yachtmaster Instructor/Examiner and local boatman Brian Lennon. Photography with thanks Carl Ford Colm O hAonghusa, Google, Donal B, Mark Duncan and Brian Lennon.


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Please zoom out to see the 'initial fix' for this location.
The above plots are not precise and indicative only.






























A Sabre 27 visiting Skerries, Loughshinny, Rogerstown Inlet and Howth.




Aerial view of Loughshinny area




The view from the north shore of the Drumanagh headland




Trinity geological field trip explains the Loughshinny




Harry Hawker Centenary Celebrations Loughshinny 2013 with a good history of the man and views of Loughshinny.



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